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CEB has my article, “Does 998 cost-shifting apply to settlements? A three-way split?”

Tim Kowal     March 27, 2024

CEB DailyNews has published my article, “Does 998 cost-shifting apply to settlements? A three-way split?” The article is about the Lemon Law case in Ayers v. FCA US, LLC (D2d8 Feb. 27, 2024 No. B315884), where the parties settled for less than defendant’s 998 offer. In a published opinion. the court held that, contrary to the plaintiff’s textual interpretation, “judgment or award” does not mean settlement. Instead, “a plain reading” yields the conclusion that the “more favorable judgment or award” language merely refers to a more favorable “terminat[ion].”

So if you settle for less than the 998 offer you rejected, prepare to get hit with the 998 penalties.

But note that the Supreme Court has granted review in Madrigal on this question. Which is why Justice Viramontes dissented.

The original article is here.

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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